Competencies Definition & Competency Frameworks

Competencies are the measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors (KSABs) critical to successful job performance. Choosing the right competencies allows us to:

  • Plan how we will organize and develop our workforce.
  • Determine which job classes’ best fit to our business needs.
  • Recruit and select the best work force
  • Manage and train employees effectively through competency based trainings
  • Develop staff to fill future vacancies.


Competencies are probably most closely related to abilities. However, the term ability normally means either able to do or a special talent; while competencies relate more to expertise and experience. Competencies can be thought of as the state or quality of being well qualified to perform a task

A competency framework is a model that broadly defines the blueprint for ‘excellent’ performance within an organization or sector.  Generally the framework will consist of a number of competencies, which can be generically applied to a broad number of roles within the organization or sector.

The framework also gives us an objective approach in evaluating the employees’ performance, helps in achieving high productivity levels and sustaining maximum performance and lets we determine how to aid the employee on her or his professional development. The competency framework is an essential part of the performance evaluation system because this serves as a guideline on how to properly evaluate how well an employee is doing.  Defining the key competencies will help the supervisor find an effective approach on how to handle an employee with poor productivity level and on how to further strengthen an employee with good performance. An established competency framework also serves as an effective tool in training needs analysis.  One way to retain an employee is to promote professional growth and development within the organization.